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RSC actor Sir Antony Sher diagnosed with terminal illness

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Sir Antony Sher, the beloved Shakespearian actor, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

His husband Gregory Doran, who is the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, announced on Friday (10 September) that he has taken compassionate leave to care for the renowned actor.

Doran, who has been artistic director of the RSC since 2013, said in a statement: “I am very sorry to say that my husband, Tony Sher, has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and in order to look after him, and with the agreement of the board, I will be taking a period of compassionate leave with immediate effect. I expect to return in early 2022.”

Sher, who is 72, has won acclaim for his performances on the RSC stage, including in productions of Macbeth, King Lear and Richard III.

His most recent theatrical role came in Kunene and the King which premiered in 2019. It had its London run cut short by the start of the pandemic.

Doran has often directed his husband in plays, with the couple marrying in 2005.

The RSC’s deputy artistic director, Erica Whyman, will become acting artistic director until Doran returns from compassionate leave.

Nigel Hugill, chairman of the RSC, said: “All our thoughts are very much with Greg and Tony at this extremely difficult time.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

He concluded: “The board thank Erica for agreeing to take on the role of acting artistic director and alongside Catherine [Mallyon] as executive director, the RSC remains in very safe hands.”

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